How are OU Students Watching Professional Sports?

As an upperclassman living off-campus who can’t afford over-priced cable packages, my boyfriend and I found ourselves at Buffalo Wild Wings on Union St. watching game three of the MLB World Series. Not to mention, beer and wings are always welcome while enjoying America’s favorite pastime. Now as the NFL season is in full-swing and basketball season approaches, students everywhere are getting creative when it comes to finding ways to watch their favorite teams.

Online streaming has become a very popular way for students and people everywhere to access professional sporting events. For students whose ride-or-die teams are out of the homestretch of Athens, OH, streaming services especially come in handy. Depending on the service students choose to use, some even have the option to stream on their smartphones at any location.

I watch (the game) on my phone and scare my roommates,” said passionate Pittsburgh Steelers fan, Kelsie Malloy. 

635748128968195773-NFLSundayTicket.TV-UDirecTV has created a promotion package that makes it easier for college students away from home to watch their home teams play. This promotion is called NFLSundayTicket.TV U and offers a discounted subscription for students to watch a full season of games via any streaming device of their choosing. The subscription requires students to be attending  a four-year university and confirms student enrollment by finding potential subscribers under student record. So, there’s no way anyone can pose for a student discount.

Although streaming is convenient, most quality services cost a fee of some sort. That doesn’t stop some students from finding the game.

“I download live stream links along with multiple computer viruses,” said Allyson Clifton, Ohio University junior and Cincinnati Bengals fan.

So it’s important to be careful when trying to (illegally) stream a game online.

The off-campus residents who actually pay for cable are few and far between. However, those who do have it for the main purpose of watching sports. These passionate fans bite the bullet of pricy cable packages out of love for their teams, although they’re still not happy about the bill that arrives in the mail box.

“I do watch them at home,” said Cleveland Browns fan Ben Rottersman, “the fact that I have to bundle to get what I want is outrageous.”

Some students say that a football game isn’t complete without a bar full of fellow fans surrounding them. Others disagree and think that groups of drunk football fans are too extreme and overwhelming.

Photo Cred: Cleveland.com
Photo Cred: Cleveland.com

Although Rottersman watches most football games in the comfort of his living room sofa, he still joins other Browns fans at Cat’s Eye Saloon on Court St. every Sunday. “It’s an official Browns backer bar, part of the Browns organization,” he said.

Even though she’s also a Browns fan, Allison Danielle said the bars are always too crowded. “I watch ESPN on my computer,” she said.

Most people who do go Uptown to watch football, find a bar and stick to it. Many of the bars are known for being representative of a certain NFL team. So when game day nears, be sure not to stumble into the wrong bar with the wrong name and number on your back.

Looking for a bar that’s just right? Shuffle with us

Ask any Bobcat, what makes Court Street unique to Athens and most will reply with the crazy number of bars. There are about 20 bars located in Athens and 13 of them are on Court Street. With so many bars, finding the perfect one with the right atmosphere can be tough. Whether you are a first-timer or a seasoned veteran, here is a guide to help you find the place to satisfy your late-night drinking. 

Lucky’s Sports Tavern, 11 North Court St.

This is the first stop on our Court Street bar shuffle. Students come here every Wednesday for Lucky’s liquor pitcher deals. Spending five bucks on these pitchers is worth every penny. You really get what you pay for. However, this bar is known to be one of toughest to get into. Be prepared to show multiple forms of I.D. at the door because the bouncers don’t mess around. This bar is also famous for being the local Steelers bar so naturally Browns and Bengals fans rarely ever go here.

Cat’s Eye Saloon, 12 North Court S.

Right across from Lucky’s, Cat’s Eye is not the place for underage drinkers. Try to use your fake I.D. at the door and it’s guaranteed to be taken away. The frequent visitors at this bar are mostly Cleveland sports fans. They even have a drink named after the Cleveland Browns. Cat’s Eye offers good prices and has plenty of space to accommodate your social activity. There are plenty of pool tables in this bar and one of the best places to play a game without the fear of jabbing someone because it is too crowded.

Red Brick Tavern, 14 North Court St.

This bar is located next to Cat’s Eye and definitely the place to be during a Bengals or Reds game. Cincinnati fans flock to the bar to watch the games on Sunday afternoons. This bar is also notoriously known as the underage bar on Court Street, which is a huge turnoff for the 21+ crowd. Throughout the week, 18+ can get in through a cover charge of $3. It is pretty narrow inside the bar, which makes it hard to move around on crowded weekends. Red Brick is also known for its Wednesday karaoke night that attracts a decent size crowd.

The C.I., 32 North Court St.

This is definitely the bar everyone tries to make it to during a night out.  There is a lot of intermingling between Greeks and GDIs (God Damn Independents), which creates the perfect atmosphere. It gets pretty crowded at the top bar but there is plenty of space in the basement. The bartenders are relaxed and you can count on getting a drink quickly. They have an extensive list of bombs that you can choose from and offer free peanuts during happy hours. If you love the mix of Geek life and GDIs, then go get high at the C.I.

The Crystal, 34 North Court St.

This bar is famous for being the Greek bar on Court Street. If you go here you are bound to wake up with a stamp on your hand that will be impossible to get off. The Crystal has a special place in the Greek community, but chances are if you are a GDI, you are going to hate it. Getting a drink at the bar is nearly impossible unless you know the bartenders. During Homecoming and Greek Week, be prepared to see some crazy costumes from all the socials hosted at this bar. The Crystal is always crowded and the place to be if you are Greek but beware of the bathrooms.

The Pigskin Bar and Grille, 38 North Court St.

This is a popular bar among the 21+ crowd. It’s the best place on Court Street to order food and watch football games. The bar is spacious and has a great vibe on the weekends. This bar attracts a diverse crowd and really has no reputation. It is also stop one in the Bermuda Triangle, which is guaranteed to get you pretty messed up. (The Bermuda Triangle consists of three bars, Pigskin, Pawpurr’s and J Bar, in which you order their signature drinks. You follow this route until you get lost in the Bermuda Triangle.)

Pawpurr’s Bar, 37 North Court St.

This bar is always a good time. During Primetime, 8 p.m.-9 p.m., students flock to this bar to get half-priced drinks. Pawpurr’s also has deals during the week such as 50-cent draft night on Tuesdays and liquor pitchers on Wednesdays. When the bar gets crowded, it is impossible to get served and the bartenders tend to not make strong mixed drinks. If you are a regular, you know who the owner of this bar is because he loves to give out free drinks. This is the second stop on the Bermuda Triangle and students come and go as they please. Overall, this bar has a great mix of social groups.

The Pub, 39 North Court St.

This is one of the most laid-back bars on Court Street. They are known for their giant glasses of beer called Aquariums. This place is not essential to stop at during your evening but a great place to relax and have a nice drink. The negative side is the size; it is pretty small and can get really crowded.

J Bar, 41 North Court Street

Originally this bar was the Junction until the owner of Courtside bought the bar.  J Bar still continues their famous Junction Punch. This is a fruity drink that has way too much alcohol in it and is the drink to order on your final stop of the Bermuda Triangle. Their top bar overlooks the rest of the bar and is a great place to hold a social. Many Greeks and athletes come to this bar and it is not home to any under-agers.

The Over Hang, 63 North Court St.

This is a relatively new bar on campus that not a lot of people go to. Many younger students are too scared to go to this bar because it’s nice and intimidating. This bar is a great place to go if you don’t want to see anyone you know. There are a few regulars but overall has a diverse crowd. The Over Hang is the place to go if you want to get drunk off of $10.

Stephen’s, 66 North Court St.

This bar has gained popularity within the last couple of years. Greeks who cannot deal with the stench of Crystal, end up making their way to Stephen’s. Their three bars offer you a chance to get your drink fast. You can find space about anywhere in this bar whether it’s in the basement or by the top two bars. Be sure to watch out when walking down the stairs. They are steep and not ideal for girls wearing heels, especially since this bar hosts a lot of Greek socials and formals.

Courtside Sports Bar, 85 North Court St.

This is the primary bar for Ohio Bobcat athletes and Sigma Pi’s. An evening at Courtside is guaranteed to be a crazy one. It’s impossible to hear what your friends are saying because of the loud rap music. It isn’t unusual to see students dancing on the tables or ordering rounds of shots. The bar attracts a diverse crowd including Greeks, business majors, and grad students. It is known for its outdoor patio area during the summer and a great place to watch a football game. Courtside attracts a big crowd every Wednesday for their 50 cent slice night of their famous pizza.

Broney’s Alumni Grill, 7 West Carpenter St.

Broney’s is the last stop on the Court Street shuffle and one of the nicest bars that make you pay for overpriced drinks. It is one of the most neutral bars on campus because there are a lot of different people who go here. Many international students have started to take over the bar, but there is something for everyone here. Alumni like to go to this bar because of the cleanliness, space, and diversity of drinks. Their patio is great on a nice summer day and a cool place to relax and have their famous champagne slushy.

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Angela Keane is a junior in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. She is involved in Scripps Public Relations Student Society of America, ImPRessions, and Alpha Gamma Delta sorority. She will be interning with the Miss Universe Organization in New York City during Spring semester.